It’s an undeniable fact that motorsports is an expensive affair. However, with the efforts of motoring enthusiasts like the folks at Grass Racing Autosports (GRA), motorsports has become a bit more feasible and affordable for regular Joes. For many years GRA has been organizing autocross events in various car park lots in Shah Alam, Bukit Jalil and the Sepang Int Circuit. To the uninitiated, autocross (or gymkhana) is a timed event to find the fastest timed car on a pre-determined road course. Think of it like rally racing in a smaller location like a car park and you pretty much get the idea. In Autocross, the car is not only the determining factor as the driver’s skills plays a pivotal role to determine if a timed lap can be won or lost by mere seconds.
The recent round 4 of GRA’s Nationals Autocross in Sepang Int Circuit saw a good number of petrol heads participate in various categories. The participants comprised drivers of Subaru Imprezas, Mazda Miata MX5, Mitsubishi Evo X, Toyota MRS, and numerous Proton models. In the end, it was Mitch Chong who took 1st the Overall with his specially souped up Proton Satria 1.8L. Terence Soh in his Mitsubishi Evo X, defeated Malaysia’s king of autocross, Ivan Khong. More amazingly, Mitch was able to best two more powerful 4WD cars in his nimble Proton Satria (pictured below).
GRA’s ambassador Ian Khong said, ‘”GRA is about making motorsports affordable, and enhancing spirited driving into a competition. The competition level in GRA is very competitive, and being a sanctioned event by Motorsports Association of Malaysia, we try to keep a balance between speed, safety and fun”
GRA National Autocross Championships is not possible without the inclusion of sponsors like Mazda, Red Line Oil, Vanli Genuine Parts, Bardahl Malaysia, Ghee Hiang Teelseed Oil, Arospeed, Heritage Village, Motorsport Playground, Euroscale, DrivingMotion.com, PG Perma Glass, WhiteLine, and Gophers GPS. Mazda via sole distributor, Bermaz Motors Sdn Bhd, played a vital role in GRA by providing the new Mazda 6 to the organizers to run the safety laps, checking the course layout with Ian behind the wheel. Mazda’s dynamic characteristics have made their presence felt relevant in GRA. There are also a few competitors in Mazda’s iconic roadster car, the MX5 Miata, competing in the GRA.
GRA will move into the fifth and final round of 2013 in Shah Alam on Sunday 22 December 2013. Entrance is free and there are plenty of race queens gracing the event. With that there is no reason why petrol heads should miss this event and hopefully will make ‘autocrossing’ a stronger presence in Malaysia.